The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will conduct a study to see which groups of farmers have benefited from the rice pledging scheme and how.
Senior executive vice-president Poonsook Musiklad said the study will attempt to show the proportion of small-scale and large-scale farmers who are enjoying the scheme.
The government spent more than 300 billion baht on the rice pledging plan for the 2012 season by paying 15,000 baht per tonne of white rice paddy to farmers and 20,000 baht for Hom Mali rice.
The scheme has been criticised heavily by economists, especially those from the Thailand Development Research Institute, who said most farmers have not benefited from the scheme, instead it is mostly 1 million well-off farm households who have profited.
These farmers, whose plantations are in well-irrigated areas, supply 52% of the country's rice production while 3.8 million poor farm households supply 48%.
Mrs Poonsook said the study will look into how many farmers earned more than 1 million baht per crop.
The scheme was initially implemented for the 2011-12 season with 1.14 million farmers pledging 6.95 million tonnes of paddy costing 118 billion baht. For the second crop that year, 1.02 million farmers pledged 13.62 million tonnes costing 201 billion.
She said not many farmers have pledged this year, either because of drought or heavy flooding in several farmland areas.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry reported that 111 million baht of premiums income was booked from crop insurance for the main rice crop this year.
There are 45,312 farmers covering 865,634 rai in the programme, which is running for the second consecutive year, said Somchai Sajjapong, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.
Both Dhipaya Insurance and Thaivivat Insurance Plc have provided coverage for paddy damages caused by hale, storms, floods, drought, cold or fire. Farmers will get compensation of 1,111 baht per rai.
This year, farmers whose crops were ravaged by pests will be paid 555 baht per rai.
The government authorised the BAAC to administrate insurance for the 2012 main crop for the three months ending on Oct 26. Another crop in the South will receive coverage until Nov 26.
The premium for crop insurance is 120 baht a rai, of which 60 baht is paid by farmers and the rest by a state fund.
As of last Friday, there were 318 rai and 15 farmers affected by disasters, amounting to 350,000 baht in claims.
Last year, 755 million baht was paid out to farmers with only 136.6 million in premiums. Flooding and droughts were major risks last year.
About the author
- Writer: Wichit Chantanusornsiri
Position: Business Reporter